Letters to the Editor
Where in Maine? The lake featured in your August mystery photograph is Sebago, where my family has vacationed since the 1940s when my mother's family first
Where in Maine?
The lake featured in your August mystery photograph is Sebago, where my family has vacationed since the 1940s when my mother's family first moved to Portland. It is the only place my immediate family ever went, and I still rent a cottage in East Sebago on the point next to Simpson's Beach. The same four cottages are still there, mostly unchanged, as is thankfully Jordan's Store across the road. The water in Sebago is still almost as clear as it has always been, although I do notice the slipperiness of rocks due to algae growth. This is still my favorite place on earth. I decided some time ago that my affinity for the lake probably has to do in part with the fact that my mother, three weeks overdue in August, tried in vain to hurry my arrival by jumping up and down in the water! (I was actually born in the more traditional setting of Maine Medical Center in Portland).
Ossining, New York
Your August "Where in Maine?" photo was taken at Bachelder Brook, on Sebago Lake. Having been a resident there for thirty years, I recognized it instantly. I have had lunch at the picnic table on the left and know the owners of the houses on the right. Around the corner of the brook to the right is Nason's Beach.
Bachelder Brook, North Sebago
L.L. Bean Park
After reading your August editor's note, I must admit that I came away quite alarmed that L.L. Bean, of all companies, would be proposing to create an amusement park here in Maine. Made me wonder what this world is coming to. But after getting over the initial shock of it all, it occurred to me that the editor-in-chief needs to read the local news stories a little more carefully or give us a call when the facts are in doubt. Indeed, L.L. Bean is proposing to develop an outdoor adventure center in Freeport that will build upon the Outdoor Discovery School programming that we already offer our customers in Freeport and other locations where we have a retail store presence. This outdoor programming provides an introduction and advanced skill building for people engaging in people-powered outdoor activities in a natural environment, including fly fishing, clay shooting, hiking, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, paddling sports, archery, and biking. The outdoor adventure center that is proposed would include an L.L. Bean lodge-type hotel and would be located on seven hundred acres of natural woods and fields on Desert Road, along with a forty-acre parcel at Lower Flying Point on the water in Freeport. All perfectly in keeping with L.L. Bean and good Maine values related to healthful outdoors experiences.
Manager, Public Affairs, L.L. Bean
I liked your recent column about L.L. Bean's plans for a theme park. It was a good warning to L.L. Bean, which I'd call a great Maine company, and I'm sure they have ambitious plans to create a park around their hunting and fishing schools. Here's my question: How do you build a theme park that isn't cheesy? I can't think of a single one. If L.L. Bean can do something classy and make money, then I'd look forward to going there. Right now I'm skeptical. I hope they pull it off.
Thank you for what you wrote in your August editor's note. Maine has been special because of not changing every five minutes. Greed does take over, no doubt about it.
First, let me say that this letter is about a year overdue. Last summer my wife and I rented a cottage in Stonington, on Deer Isle, that contained about three years worth of Down East back issues. In between sea kayaking and visiting the local lobster co-op before dinner each night, we did nothing but read Down East. As senior editor of Chesapeake Life magazine, I recall your publication winning the International Regional Magazine Association's most-
improved magazine award a few years back, and I could clearly see why. But what finally prompted me to write was your August 2007 issue - it's a winner. It's just a great mix of stories: travel, people, history. The "King Is Dead" story about Elvis was a great idea, as was the incredibly clever "Way Off the Map" illustration.
I was most dismayed when I read your "Museum in a Box" article ["Talk of Maine," July 2007]. My experience visiting the Maine State Museum has been an enriching experience over a span of years. I have sensed great pride, as a Maniac, in recognizing the development and growth evidenced on each of my visits. Having visited numerous museums throughout this country, Europe, and Canada, I've come away from each visit to Augusta's gem realizing that we citizens of Maine rank with the best.
I thank you for highlighting the challenges faced by the Maine State Museum in Augusta. We here are thinking outside the box that your writer, Jeff Clark, described. In the past five years we have found ways to offer our visitors seventeen traveling or changing exhibits in the Cultural Building and State House and have completed renovations to seven long-term exhibitions in these buildings. But now the building is nearly full and needing renovations to its un-insulated walls and obsolete climate-control equipment.
As the discussion continues on how best to provide needed space for library, museum, and archives programs, it is important to note one error in your story. At no point was there a majority vote in the Cultural Building Task Force to move the museum out of the building, and the final vote reported by Chairman Matthew Dunlap was nine to seven against this idea.
-Margaret A. Kelley
Chairman, Maine State Museum Commission